12.07.2009

New Kono experiments on fatherless mice

Professor Tomohiro Kono, from the Tokyo University of Agriculture, has published some new reports on his research on fatherless mice created from two mothers. He was the creator of the mouse "Kaguya", the first mammal with same-sex parents, in 2004, which prompted me to create this blog. Well, he's apparently continued working on making fatherless mice, and his new findings, published last week in the science journal Human Reproduction, "provide the first evidence that sperm genes may have a detrimental effect on lifespan in mammals", leading to lots of "End of Males?" articles in the British press like this one in the Daily Mail.
'We have known for some time that women tend to live longer than men in almost all countries worldwide,' said Professor Kono.

'However, the reason for this difference was unclear and, in particular, it was not known whether longevity in mammals was controlled by the genome composition of only one or both parents.

He said the fatherless mice were essential to the research. The genetic material taken from eggs collected from young mice was manipulated in the laboratory so the genes behaved like sperm genes.

This manipulated genetic material was transplanted into fully grown, unfertilised eggs of adult mice and they developed into embryos, which were transferred into surrogate mother mice.

The mice born as a result were bimaternal, having genetic material from two mothers, but no father, and their lifespan was compared with identical mice with both father and mother.

But does the study suggest that getting rid of fathers could maximise the longevity of human beings?

Professor Kono was unequivocal. 'This is not realistic,' he said.

Interestingly, no one questions whether it should even be allowed to try to do experiments like that to create human children. The article just assumes that it is only a question of can it be done, not whether it should be legal. We don't need to do any more research to know that it shouldn't be allowed to try to create humans from stem cell derived artificial gametes for two people of the same sex.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everyone fastens where there is gain.........................................